Product Design

Help Us Design Our Oven Mitts & Aprons!

Perfect cooking apparel, right this way...

December  3, 2018

Cue the wooden spoon-drumroll, because it's time to reveal the newest additions to our Five Two family: oven mitts and aprons.

After sending a nifty double-sided cutting board out into the world, and some kitchen towels to join it, (plus, getting mixing bowls and spoons in the works!), we knew it was time to roll out the next big things for your kitchens—and ours.

And we wouldn't dream of making them without our trustiest design consultants: all of you. We have two quizzes below, just waiting for your feedback.

What's so special about mitts and aprons? We spoke with Kristina Wasserman, our director of merchandising and product development, to get the lowdown on why these kitchen essentials had to be Five Two's next products.


"Oven mitts are true workhorses of the kitchen," says Wasserman. "We want to make versions that are better—stronger, more functional, more beautiful. We consider them part of the cook's essential tool kit, which is why we wanted to tackle these design challenges with our community."

We're ready to nail every detail, from shape (classic? Five fingers? Fold-over?) to material, and color to thickness. We hope you'll help. Please give us your two cents on what makes oven mitts great.


Know what goes well with a handy pair of mitts? An equally handy apron.

"Poorly-designed aprons are all too common, and can be a constant cause of frustration," says Wasserman. "They often don't protect enough from heat or spills, and aren't easy to move in or adjust."

So, spill (figuratively, of course): What would your ideal apron look like? Is it mid-thigh-length, or more of a shin-grazer? How many pockets does it have? And what's the strap sitch? Take our apron quiz and tell us everything you're thinking.

We can’t wait to hear from you! (And don't forget to follow along on Instagram with the #f52byyou tag to see what's cooking in the Five Two kitchen.)

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Kim
  • Denise Boyle
    Denise Boyle
  • 702551

Written by: Food52


Kim March 1, 2019
I have numerous aprons acquired from hotel cooking classes and they are all the standard
aprons found today - loop around the neck, tie at the waist and one big pocket. Some are dark and a few are white. My all time favorite was purchased from Neiman Marcus years ago. It has a square neck (with ties and ties at the waist) with sleeves that are just above the elbow. Best of all It covers everything that could get splattered.
Denise B. February 25, 2019
Please make a strong, thick and long mitt that will work for man hands. Both of my boys cook all the time and it’s so hard to find a great mitt for their big hands. Darker colors also
702551 December 3, 2018
As for oven mitts, I don't use them. I use kitchen rags (old repurposed face cloths) or a pair of pot holders than Mom knitted for me. And if Mom didn't knit those pot holders, I wouldn't have any; I only use them because she made them.

I wouldn't pay a dime for oven mitts unless I was a heavy baker, then I would buy one or pair of professional mitts and call it a day.

Once again, dark colored fabric are preferable for oven mitts or pot holders to hide the inevitable scorch marks and stains.

More useful are cotton or leather work gloves which are particularly useful around the grill. If you are already wearing a chef's coat, you have burn protection for your arms anyhow.
702551 December 3, 2018
Note that work gloves can provide excellent tactile performance. My old deerskin work gloves (RIP, sniff) were form fitting to my hands.

Oven mitts are basically a liability. They are typically one-size-fits-all and you *LOSE* dexterity when you put them on.
702551 December 3, 2018
A few thoughts about aprons based on decades of collecting them, discarding most and keeping a few.

There's a certain style component that occasionally comes into play. I have a genuine Japanese sake brewer's apron; some people would consider it less than ideal because it is only waist high, has one pocket and is dark blue. It still looks fabulous and I always get comments from others when I wear it.

Onto more practical apron designs.

I keep white ones and dark ones.

The dark ones are preferable when you grill. White aprons will not hide the inevitable and indelible scorch marks and grease marks. I have one dark striped apron as well as one denim apron (in addition to the aforementioned brewer's apron).

If you are working with flour, a white apron is preferable. Let's face it, flour over a dark colored apron looks a bit dowdy and sloppy.

The neck bib is preferable (as opposed to the aprons that are only waist high) because if you don't want to use the neck bib, at least you have a choice.

I'm pretty slender, so I prefer to tie my aprons in the front so I have the apron strings to hang towels thus long apron ties are ideal. They need to be securely stitched to the apron.

As for length, it has never been a big consideration for me. I'm fairly short, so most aprons are amply long.

Apart from my sake brewer's apron (100% cotton), the rest are mostly cotton-poly blends. They don't rest on bare skin, so I am okay with fabric blends.

Price? Inexpensive. Unless you are trying to make a fashion statement, $10-20 per apron is plenty for a utilitarian piece of kitchen clothing. Aprons get beat up and I donate the high mileages ones along with old clothes.

Don't want to spend much on aprons.
702551 December 3, 2018
These days, I often do not use an apron in my kitchen. I just put on an old chef's coat.

Again, I have white ones and one dark one; the white ones indeed have scorch marks and indelible grease stains. There's no escaping it.

Wearing a chef's coat has multiple benefits that aprons do not provide. They offer full arm coverage against things like grease splatters, splashes, staining, burns. They also do a pretty good job at minimizing the amount of food odors absorbed by your regular clothes underneath. 100% cotton for chef's jackets.

Often, I'll be wearing the chef's coat in my kitchen and when I step outside to my grill, I don a dark apron.

In any case, I don't need many coats nor aprons. Laundry happens frequently enough in my house.

The last purchase was the sake brewer's apron, but that was more of a fashion item rather than something I needed.

I have four white chef's coats (two of which are in regular rotation) and all of them are over twenty years old. The dark chef's coat was a gift, but that one is still over ten years old.

My aprons are of various ages since they are more cheaply acquired and readily tossed.